Boston Borough Council’s portfolio holder for the town centre has urged building owners to set ‘realistic rent levels’ to ensure the continuing viability of town centres and high streets today (Monday).
Councillor Paul Skinner said: “Rental levels are often cited by businesses as part reasons why they close or move and we would strongly urge building owners and those who set rents to be more realistic as to what the levels they might set and to ensure the continuing viability of town centres and high streets.
“These are commercial decision and not something the council has powers over or can intervene in.”
His comments follow the announcement by QD Stores that it is to close its Boston store on Strait Bargate - with its head office saying that it was unable to meet the landlord on a ‘commercially viable’ fresh rent position.
It is advertised on the Poynton’s Consultancy website at at a retail price of £195,000 per annum or £16,250 per calendar month.
A spokesman for Poynton’s said :”Poyntons are only intructed by the landlord as the letting agent for the property.
“At no stage have Poyntons been instructed or involved with any lease renewal or rent review negotiations.
“Discussions are ongoing with a number of interested parties with a view to leasing the property.”
Attempts have also been made to contact the landlord of QD’s for comment.
Clark’s Shoe Store has also said it is to vacate its store, only two doors down from QD. The business would not confirm the reasons behind its decision, but did say it was looking at other premises in the town.
Coun Skinner said: “It is never good news when established and often large businesses move out of the town centre. It’s a shame because the town centre is busy. Footfall last month was 2.2 per cent increased on July last year.”
He pointed, however, to positive business stories taking place in the town, adding: “There has been interest from other businesses looking for larger properties.
“It is good news to hear that Lidl is bringing a multi-million investment to the town and creating new jobs.
“And the new Marston’s Inn and Tavern pub and restaurant on Swineshead Road, near Old MacDonald’s Farm, is bringing new trade for all in that area and all are benefiting from the new business being attracted.
“SportsBikeShop has opened new headquarters alongside the A16 at Kirton.
“This local business has grown to become a major player nationally in the world of motorcycling clothing and accessories.
“It has online customers from all over the world.
“And on a large plot next to SportsBikeShop another major development is underway. Duckworth Land Rover is having new dealership premises built.”